Deadlock ends, power employees call off strike
Jammu: Much to the relief of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, protesting employees of the Power Development Department in Jammu and Kashmir have called off their strike after written assurance from the administration to put on hold the proposed merger of PDD with Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCI).
An official team led by Jammu Divisional Commissioner Ragav Langar and ADGP Mukesh Singh held fresh talks on the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday with the PDD employee’s association led by its general secretary S Tickoo and gave them a written assurance, sources said.
The government agreed to put on hold the merger of the Power Development Department (PDD) with PGCI and set up committee to take a relook, they said.
An official said the strike has been called off by the protesting employees and they resumed duties on Tuesday. The strike had entered its third consecutive day on Monday.
The protesting employees have also received assurances on other issues, including salaries, from the administration, sources said.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said 60 percent electricity in the Union Territory was restored and the administration will achieve 100 percent restoration by Tuesday.
The UT has been facing a widespread power shutdown since Sunday owing to a deadlock between PDD employees and the administration over the latter’s bid to privatise electricity in the region.
The withdrawal of strike comes as a relief to the masses as the Valley faces sub-zero temperatures and power outages only made matters worse for the residents, including in the Jammu division.
Jammu University has postponed offline and online examination for undergraduate and postgraduate students on Tuesday in view of the strike.
The PDD employees held anti-government protests in Srinagar and Jammu demanding in writing from the Lieutenant Governor an assurance that it has shelved the proposal of merger.
According to the sources, while the administration parleyed with the employees, it also visited several power distribution facilities in Jammu to speed up restoration of electricity supply.